Shave Enthusiast

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#1
Throughout the history of this site, the community thread has played host to many a discussion on the other realms of community-member enthusiasm. I thought it would be interesting if we threw a few topics up in this forum to more easily keep track of the various topics. This one is a personal area of expertise, and one worth checking out if you're facially hirsute, sick of razor-burn, and want to spare your wallet the excruciation of regularly forking out for multi-blade face-mowers.

It turns out that "old timey" razors not only still work, but do a better job of shaving your face than modern razors. In addition, once you've procured one of the razor handles (antique or brand new), top-quality blades will set you back $20 for a pack of 100 (and you can comfortably get 4 shaves per blade). Cheaper, better, and cool as hell. The only problem is that the prices of the razors are currently being driven up by a demand created by hollywood's recent rediscovery of the era, along with a counter-culture against the spiralling stupidity of modern razor design.

http://gadgetshow.channel5.com/upload/0004/6130/Gillette_Fusion_Power_Stealth_size_10.jpg

Or

http://maddogsandgentlemen.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/cdnykgbgkkgrhqyokiqez9u7gqkhbnpks3v0zq_3.jpg

I currently own 19 diffferent razors; all get used, none are less than 40 years old, and one was used by my grandfather for his entire adult life.

If anyone else here is already shaving like a man, or wants to know anything about the razors or process, jump in! I'll be posting about a few of my favourite things shortly.
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#2
When i started shaving it was with a horribly cheap, rigid, Bic single-bladed affair. It actually did a fair job and forced you to use a fairly good technique, but it was inconsistently sharp and had a serious problem of jamming up with hair. I used to get a fairly irritated neck, and that never went away even as i progressed to the now normal multi-blade razors. It turns out most of my problem was the shaving "goop".

http://ph.makeupandbeauty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Gillette+Satin+Care+Dry+Skin+Shave+Gel+Review3.jpg

Once i had gotten into trying all sorts of "alternative" shaving soaps/creams, it was clear they made the modern "technological" foaming gels look like the canned crap they are. Then when you consider the price difference, one champion still stands above them all:

http://www-cdn.terrywhitechemists.com.au/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/317x317/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/P/a/Palmolive-for-Men-Shave-Stick-50g_5.jpg

This stick is two bucks, works as easily as a goo, and will last you half a year. To apply it, you just wet your face well, then draw all over your face with the stick until you start to see white soap trails. When that is done, take a wet shave brush (not dripping significantly, but loaded) and work it in circles. The foam will spring up in under a minute and you're good to shave. Once you've done a pass with the razor, wet your face again and reapply straight from the brush. Easy as pie!

These cheap sticks are as good as any boutique cream or soap, work into a lather stupidly easy, aren't significantly scented, and are available nearly eveywhere. Even if you're using a modern razor i urge you to give the palmolive a crack, it's far more effective and satisfying than the gel.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#5
As I've put on weight during the past 5 or so years (which I'm finally on track to losing again), I've also avoided clean shaves -- they make me look like a fat baby; Because of this, I've just been trying to settle for a decent trimmer. As fate would have it, most trimmers can't handle my beard's manliness, so I've just resorted to an actual barber's trimmer.
Trying to tackle my beard at any point after 2 weeks beyond a clean shave feels a lot like weedwacking. If I ever end up in a spot where I have to get a clean shave frequently, though (and at least I hope it's because of a girl and not a corporation), I'll follow your and my friend's advice on getting a safety razor.
I'm personally more interested in figuring out how to make my beard actually look good to people that aren't complete hippies.
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#6
I went clean for a few years after having an unfashionable goatee for a few of my teenage years due to my facial hair not meeting up properly. Looking back, the goatee was horrible, even if it did give me more of a chin.

But i've been playing with a beard for the last year or so, now that it's all present. I use a barber's trimmer to keep the length under control (although i've grown out the moustache a few times), and use the safety razor for my neck and cheeks to get really sharp lines around my jaw. Using a multi-blade to edge a beard is like trying to draw a fine line with finger paint.

I think the trick to trimming a neat beard is to use the trimmer with the grain, and hand-trim some parts with scissors (like the mo'). That way the upper hairs flow into the lower ones nicely, giving some more density without it turning into long, scraggly mess. The scissors let you get a really good, square moustache.

http://www.tccweb.org/Site/images/tom-selleck.jpg

If you trim against the grain you tend to end up with a spikier, less dense beard. It's fine for when you want to rock the two-day growth look of movie stars, but it's often seen as "lazy" or unclean in a professional environment.
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#9
Me I'm all clean shave all the time. Also against the grain is winning.
Yeah, there's nothing quite like ATG for a baby-butt smooth face. That's what my crazy-sharp Japanese blades are for, you literally can't feel it when you cut yourself with those things.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#10
This thread is great.

I have facial hair about as smooth as barbed wire. Electric "razors" (lol) do nothing for me in terms of a proper shave, and I've long since adopted the practice of steaming my face with hot towels before shaving to significantly lessen, or eliminate any razor burn and cuts. I have to use 3-4 blade modern razors to have any hope and it's needlessly expensive. I've been thinking about making the switch to old school straight razors for about 5 years now, but was always at a loss as to which ones to go with. Recommendations?

As for ditching the goop, good call. Been rid of that stuff for quite some time. I haven't tried the stick you mention though (I use a different shaving soap and brush), maybe I'll give that a shot for at least travel as it sounds more convenient than the dish.
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#12
Haha, I make my beard line with a five blade razor. It was tricky at first, but my line is clean. I don't want that neck beard.
 
#13
That's awesome that you still use your g-pa's razor. I learned to play my Grandpa's mandolin when he passed away in '96. Now when I play it I feel a strange and wonderful connection to his life. Pretty cool.
I pretty much hate shaving so I only do it about once a week. When life gets really busy I grow out a beard... it's like an organic stress indicator for me lol.
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#14
When I want to try something new with my beard line, I take a picture of my face with my 3DS. I then draw a line to see how it would look.
True story.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#15
When I want to try something new with my beard line, I take a picture of my face with my 3DS. I then draw a line to see how it would look.
True story.
That's a freaking great idea.
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#17
I keep my face shaven most of the time. If I'm lazy, I simply won't shave for a few days. However, when I come back to shave it all off, it's a huge process. Not because I take my time and "care" about it, but because my face hair is so coarse. I just use an electric "razor". It doesn't get that nice smooth finish, but it get's pretty close. If I shave every day, it also only takes a couple of minutes, which is great, because there is no way I could spend so much time every morning shaving my face! When I allow it to grow out a little bit, shaving it off is not difficult but time consuming. My skin has also always been very irritated afterwards. Back when I was not using an electrical thing-a-majigger, I tried out all sorts of different gel's and foam's and stuff, but nothing worked. The electrically powered whirring blades of death cause a bit less irritation, but now for the most part I just ignore it. My face looks a bit blotchy for about an hour and it doesn't feel the best, but I just put up with it.
I am the antithesis to this thread, the Shave Detractor!
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#18
This thread is great.

I have facial hair about as smooth as barbed wire. Electric "razors" (lol) do nothing for me in terms of a proper shave, and I've long since adopted the practice of steaming my face with hot towels before shaving to significantly lessen, or eliminate any razor burn and cuts. I have to use 3-4 blade modern razors to have any hope and it's needlessly expensive. I've been thinking about making the switch to old school straight razors for about 5 years now, but was always at a loss as to which ones to go with. Recommendations?

As for ditching the goop, good call. Been rid of that stuff for quite some time. I haven't tried the stick you mention though (I use a different shaving soap and brush), maybe I'll give that a shot for at least travel as it sounds more convenient than the dish.
My face jams up the multi-blade razors too, and it's actually been getting worse as the manufacturers add more blades and foils to their product. But while a straight razor is absolutely free of those problems, i don't recommend them for a daily razor. They're more for special ocassions, for when you have a little time to spare in the pursuit of ultimate manliness.

There's a particular breed of DE safety razor which can't jam up while also offering a mild shave. They're called "open comb" razors, and you have a lot of choice.

If you want new, if you want to walk into a shop and pick one up, you can't go past an Edwin Jagger 89. It's a new razor built on the design of the classics, and is a favourite first safety razor for many:

http://www.shaving.ie/product_images/a/249/edwin-jagger-de89l__41565_zoom.jpg

http://www.amazon.com/Edwin-Jagger-Double-Safety-Razor/dp/B002QTX8WU

If you want to shave with a little piece of history, your choice is wide open. Enter "vintage Gillette razor" in to ebay, then flip through the massive catalogue and find one you like. All of Gillette's open-comb razors are very good, you really can't go wrong as long as you pick one which is in visually good condition (less likely that it has been bent by a drop). The "Turn To Open" or TTO razors are my favourite. Twist the end of the handle and the top of the razor opens like a missle silo for loading a new blade. They're a little marvel of mechanical design, but the head of the razor is a little bulkier than a classic multi-piece razor (you take it apart to load the blade, then screw it back together) which get around the nooks a little better. This is my favourite open comb, i used it yesterday:

http://mr-razor.com/Rasierer/One-Piece%20open%20comb/1930s%20British%20Aristocrat%20No15.jpg

If you want to see the full range of classic Gillette safety razors (80 years!), this site is an amazing resource:

http://www.mr-razor.com/Rasierer/Gillette%20Rasierer.htm
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#19
I keep my face shaven most of the time. If I'm lazy, I simply won't shave for a few days. However, when I come back to shave it all off, it's a huge process. Not because I take my time and "care" about it, but because my face hair is so coarse. I just use an electric "razor". It doesn't get that nice smooth finish, but it get's pretty close. If I shave every day, it also only takes a couple of minutes, which is great, because there is no way I could spend so much time every morning shaving my face! When I allow it to grow out a little bit, shaving it off is not difficult but time consuming. My skin has also always been very irritated afterwards. Back when I was not using an electrical thing-a-majigger, I tried out all sorts of different gel's and foam's and stuff, but nothing worked. The electrically powered whirring blades of death cause a bit less irritation, but now for the most part I just ignore it. My face looks a bit blotchy for about an hour and it doesn't feel the best, but I just put up with it.
I am the antithesis to this thread, the Shave Detractor!
I never found electric razors to give a close shave or a sharp one. To me they've always been more like face epilators, especially the drum "foil" based kind (Braun). Whenever i go skiing or otherwise grow a caveman beard, i knock it back to stubble with a barber's trimmer. I get far less irritation using a trimmer without a guard than i ever did with a phillishave, and i never noticed a difference in irritation when using shaving oil/foam with an electric.

The problem with both electrics and cartridge razors is that they "lift and cut" instead of just shearing through the hair. This means they cut a messier cross-section of the hair AND excessively stretch the skin. You're left with a less even cut, and you run the risk of greater inflammation and ingrowns. I know quite a few curly-haired people who have noticed a drastic reduction of ingrowns after switching up to "classic" shaving.

http://i.imgur.com/pfhuX.png

Eww.
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#21
If you're in the market for blades, the best way to kick off is with a sampler pack. You can pick these up from Amazon, ebay, or through shaving supply places, and they're pretty vital in understanding which blade best suits your face and your razor(s). Everyone is different, so it's worth investigating your options.

http://www.westcoastshaving.com/DE-Blade-Sampler-Pack-Choice_p_20.html

That's a pretty good one, has a couple of my favourites in it, and 40 blades for 10 bucks ain't bad!

My personal favourite "goes in anything" blade is the Astra SP. It's fairly sharp, but super smooth and rigid. You might have to use more than a single pass to get through, but they don't tug and don't catch lumps on your face. They're also rather cheap, and are good from the first shave until about the fifth where other blades "come good" after the first then die out quickly after. I buy 100 packs of them for 20 bucks. :p

http://m2.miiduu.com/store2/32213/image/cache/data/41YrwMtHJUL._SL500_AA300_-320x320.jpg

The most amazing blade i've ever used is probably the Japanese "Feather". It has a very flat bevel on the blade, it's surgically sharp, but if it does catch anything it can easily deflect and nick you. You won't feel a thing, but once the shave is done you might have to break out the styptic pencil or the toilet paper. Putting a feather in a very mild razor is a popular combination, you can fly around your face and get an awesome shave without any worry. Considerably more expensive than the Astra though.

http://www.fendrihan.com/images/feather_10.jpg

There is so much variability in safety razors, which is both a good and bad thing. Once you find the perfect setup for you, it's glorious, but it will take some experimentation. That's part of the reason why i own so many razors (also, it's fun).
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#22
Also, because Mad Men:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1hvoZTFczE

I wouldn't emulate his technique, he's not actually shaving so the razor is held at a ridiculous angle, and the lather is applied dry. He also appears to be using the wrong razor for the era, but it's only a few years off.



Whereas if i were Mr. Draper i'd be using one of these regal beasts:



Or my favourite looking, manly safety razor of all time, the "fat boy":

http://www.mr-razor.com/Rasierer/Adjustable/1960%20Brit.%20FatBoy%20Set%20F4.jpg

I actually just missed out on one of these the other day (200 USD). I'm not a fan of gold razors as the finish is super thin (you can get them replated though), but the toggle is an awesome mechanical system for opening the TTO doors:

http://www.maggardrazors.com/wp-content/gallery/gillette-1956-gold-toggle/gillette-1956-gold-toggle-07.jpg
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#23
so can I be this threads first obvious troll who pretends he isn't one?

I like shaving and all, but why don't clean shaven faces attract as much 3rd party debris as bearded faces, razors keep relying on gimicks, but shaved faces just aren't as powerful as bearded faces, shaved faces are so far behind the times
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#24
Shaved faces AREN'T as powerful as bearded ones!

http://www.lastendance.com/admin/dynamic/images/Pal-Zileri-Spring-Summer-2013-pic-02.jpg
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#25
What if you're trying to be ironic. Not just ironic like you show up to work with a beard, but like ironic that you show up to work after shaving your ironic beard, like how ironic would that be.
Anyway, we should have a thread about beards.
 

Aki

Well-Known Member
#26
I'm either clean shaven or I have a soul patch or goatee. I use a cut throat razor when I shave. If I'm not doing the shaving then I go to one of those old school gentleman's barbershops and have them shave me.
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#28
I don't have problems with the goop or multiple blades. I'm fortunate that my skin isn't too sensitive and my facial hair isn't like barb wire.
But 100 blades for 20 bucks? That's very appealing. The five blade packs cost that much, and you get like five of them.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#29
What if you're trying to be ironic. Not just ironic like you show up to work with a beard, but like ironic that you show up to work after shaving your ironic beard, like how ironic would that be.
Anyway, we should have a thread about beards.
Beard Enthusiast
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
#30
What if you're trying to be ironic. Not just ironic like you show up to work with a beard, but like ironic that you show up to work after shaving your ironic beard, like how ironic would that be.
Anyway, we should have a thread about beards.
Beard Enthusiast
Make it happen, or i will.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#31
I wish I could grow a beard. I get the dumbest, patchiest stubble. So I only need to shave once or twice a week. This thread is making me consider getting a decent razor.

[One of my favorite things to do to start out a weekend is to go to a barber, get my hair cut, then go home for a shower and shave. Feel like a new man.]
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#32
Bumping this manly and useful thread.
I would have bumped the beard thread but it's pretty unpopular so far. Maybe merge with this? Thoughts?
 
Top